Many students like to write, and this is a reason why they often take journalism courses. Journalism courses indeed can help you improve and develop your writing skills. In addition, news stories always have the same format, so this style of writing is not really difficult to get a grasp on. We at Writers-house.com blog hope that this short guide will help you write a good news story.
A lede is the most important part of a news story. It’s the first sentence where the writer provides a quick summary of the most important points. A good lede quickly explains what the story is about so that readers can understand the most important information even if they don’t read the entire story.
Here’s an example of a lede: Three people injured in a car accident in San Diego last night. This sentence provides you with all of the most important information: what happened, who was involved, where it happened, and when. Obviously, there is much more you can add to this story, there are many details. However, the ledge quickly communicates everything the readers should know.
Many students struggle to figure out what their ledge should look like, and the main secret to a successful ledge is to choose only major points and to get rid of all the minor details. The chosen points should tell the story in a nutshell.
What Makes a Good Lede
There is a rule of five Ws and one H: what, who, why, where, when, and how. If you answer all these questions in your lede as briefly as possible, you will have a good lede. Of course, not all of these answers may be equally interesting. For example, if you’re writing about a celebrity who got into a car accident, this is the celebrity who makes this story special. Unfortunately, too many people get into car accidents all the time, so if you emphasize that the celebrity was involved, you’ll make this story more interesting and memorable.
Once you’ve written the lede, what should you do next? News stories are written according to the inverted pyramid principle: you should start from the most important information and then move to the least important details. There are several reasons why this format is the most popular. First, your readers have short attention spans, and you should communicate something important. Secondly, journalists often have to write about something that has just happened, while also having strict deadlines. This way, they can write an engaging story quickly, leaving the least important stuff for the end.
The News Format
Another important thing to remember is that you should be as concise as possible. It means that you should use short sentences, and the whole story shouldn’t be too long. To avoid writing too long stories, follow the S-V-O format. It means that your sentences should include a Subject, followed by a Verb, and an Object. Look at these two examples:
He read an article.
An article was read by him.
The first sentence is written in the active voice because it follows the S-V-O format. This sentence is straightforward and short. The action and the subject are connected — you can imagine somebody reading an article. This sentence is simple and focused.
The second sentence is written in the passive voice, and it’s also longer than the first one. Although two words may not seem like a big difference, the truth is that if you add a couple of unnecessary words to every sentence, the whole article will be considerably longer. Follow the S-V-O format and always choose the active voice when you can. Such a simple and effective approach to writing will allow you to communicate more information using fewer words.